We’re all under a lot of stress right now. In our work lives and personal lives alike, we could all use a little empathy, compassion and understanding.

Unfortunately, for some managers, especially those managers who might be a little more technically-minded, empathy isn’t their first reaction to others’ negative emotions.

If you manage someone who hasn’t been showing much empathy for their employees during the last few months, it might be worthwhile teaching them the three key stages to developing empathy:

  • Identification – look out for signs of distress in others
  • Understanding – be with him/her in the space, don’t rush to solutionize
  • Reaction – match his/her energy and slowly lead it to something more positive

Remind your managers that, whenever and however they communicate with team members, they need to take the time to identify that team member’s emotions, understand their emotions by trying to put themselves in the team member’s shoes and then react in an appropriate manner.

It’s not an easy skill to learn and takes practice, but it’s one that’s worth learning, both for now and the future. How has empathy from others helped you lately?

A great method to quietly practice empathy is by “The Perceptual Positions Process”, read here.